GREETINGS in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour and the Living HEAD of this Church!
I have most important news for you. Christ has moved and has opened up a wonderful "door" of opportunity to save His Church a few MILLIONS of dollars! This opportunity involves our utilizing a completely made-to-order resort facility for the Feast of Tabernacles right here on the West Coast.
This will be in addition to the continued use of our own large Tabernacle near Gladewater, Texas!
Let me explain.
Years ago, God led Mrs. Armstrong and me to see that the command to observe God's Annual Sabbaths, or Holy Days, was just as binding as the weekly Sabbath commandment. For the first few years—especially since I was the only fully ordained minister in the Church—it seemed that the Holy Days should only be observed in one location. We felt this particularly in regard to the Feast of Tabernacles. But as God's Church expanded world-wide, it became evident from circumstances and from examples in God's Word that the Feast must be observed in more than one location.
As we explained in the December, 1957, GOOD NEWS, God's ministers found in the Bible definite evidence that the Annual Feasts—including the Feast of Tabernacles—were observed in at least four or five major areas by the inspired Church of God under the direction of the original apostles.
Realizing this, and God showing us what needed to be done by circumstances as well, this "Philadelphia" age of God's Church now observes the Feast of Tabernacles in London, England; Sydney, Australia; Gladewater, Texas; in addition to minor observances in the Philippines, the British West Indies, and Northern Rhodesia, Africa.
But NOW, God has shown us by circumstances that we should observe the Feast of Tabernacles in an additional location here in the United States!
As most of you know, our Tabernacle in Texas constantly had to be enlarged because of the tremendous growth in the numbers of God's people attending the Feast. We saw that eventually we would have to build a huge bowl seating over 100,000 people to accommodate everyone. It would be a tremendous expense. Facilities to handle a veritable city would have to be installed —for only eight days' use each year.
Yet the Feast of Tabernacles MUST be observed! And to try to build separate facilities in another part of the country would have cost even more than on our own land near Gladewater— much of which had been donated to the Church.
We knew of no resort facility capable of housing and feeding the multiple thousands involved in a Feast of Tabernacles observance or of providing an enclosed meeting place suitable for preaching services at that time of year.
But CHRIST saw the need—and how it was to be provided for!
Just a few weeks ago—at the very time we were starting to enlarge the present Tabernacle and make preliminary architect's drawings for a huge bowl to be constructed later—the door was opened to one of the largest and most beautiful resort facilities in the nation. And this facility has a huge arena seating over 8,000 people!
It is Squaw Valley, California—site of the 1960 Winter Olympics! It is breath-takingly beautiful and the climate is considered ideal at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Do you realize, brethren, that this is the exact area most centrally located for an additional site for the Feast away from Texas? Our largest Church membership outside of the South and Midwest is on the Pacific Coast. And Squaw Valley is the perfect location for the West Coast and Mountain States brethren to assemble!
Let me briefly describe the wonderful facilities God has provided for us at Squaw Valley.
This valley—situated in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains in central California—was selected as the location for the Winter Olympic Games for 1960. Squaw Valley is five miles north of Lake Tahoe, forty-five miles west of Reno, and two hundred miles east of San Francisco. The elevation of the valley floor is six thousand, two hundred feet above sea level. During the Feast of Tabernacles the anticipated daytime temperature will be near 65ø.
The approach to the valley is on a wide four-lane highway that is in no way mountainous at all. Driving to Squaw Valley is much like driving on any modern freeway in the United States.
Squaw Valley itself is a beautiful, long wooded valley situated at the base of high majestic peaks rising to a height of nearly nine thousand feet on both sides of the valley. The slopes of the mountains are covered with beautiful evergreen timber. The view is awe-inspiring from every angle!
Now to describe briefly the facilities themselves in Squaw Valley. Services during the Feast of Tabernacles will be held in the beautiful and modern Blythe Arena. Blythe Arena was constructed to house up to eighty-five hundred persons during the ice hockey championships in the 1960 Olympic Games. It is a beautiful concrete, steel and glass structure that affords a breath-taking view of the surrounding valley and mountain peaks. The seating facilities will be very comfortable and adequate for all of us during the Festival. Under each seat is an individual hot air outlet to insure perfect comfort for everyone. The pulpit will be so located that from your seat you will be able to overlook the magnificent panorama of majestic mountain peaks and wooded sloping hillsides. Think of the inspiration of listening to the Word of God being expounded in such an environment!
Adequate housing and dining facilities are available in the Olympic Village center where nine hundred persons can be accommodated in perfect comfort. Also available will be the Squaw Valley Inn—another very beautiful and adequate facility for housing additional families.
The Squaw Valley committee is making available to us the entire facilities of the valley which include three beautiful ice arenas that will be maintained for ice skating! Three heated swimming pools will also be available, chairlift rides to the tops of the surrounding peaks for scenic views, a teenage center where the younger people can have activities and purchase refreshments for their enjoyment, and also the Olympic Village center where many hundreds can congregate in their off hours for personal fellowship and recreation.
There are unlimited opportunities for hiking in the beautiful mountains in the area. Horseback riding facilities will be available for those who would care to ride on the many trails and bridle paths. Scenic rides on buses in the area are also available. Lake Tahoe is within easy driving distance plus many other points of interest in the area. God has certainly provided a very wonderful and inspiring location for His Feast of Tabernacles in California!
Brethren, isn't it significant that the very year God's Church—because of the tremendous growth and membership outside of the South and Midwest—was FORCED to consider either financing the construction of the huge, multimillion-dollar bowl near Gladewater or finding an additional location for the Feast, CHRIST MOVED to open up the marvelous facilities at Squaw Valley? These facilities were not even built until just in time for the use of God's Church in this critical recession period when the construction of the large bowl at Gladewater seemed a financial impossibility!
IMPORTANT NOTICE: We are enclosing a map showing the dividing line for the two Feast observances this fall. All of you brethren west of this line should come to Squaw Valley. Those east of the line should go to Gladewater. There should be very few exceptions! This is important to aid us in making proper arrangements for the Feast at each location. If any of you feel it is really important that you go to Gladewater instead of Squaw Valley because of an important family problem with relatives there or some other similar situation, then contact your local pastor to get his O.K. or write to us here at Headquarters about it.
Also, Mr. Harold Jackson, our Negro elder, has requested that all of you Negro brethren who can make it go to Gladewater as usual in order that the special social activities and spiritual fellowship among the colored brethren not be divided. You will certainly be most welcome at Squaw Valley, but for the above reasons, please go to Gladewater if you can.
Now, brethren, I would like to go into detail about the available facilities at Squaw Valley.
First of all, let me explain that the housing facilities at Squaw Valley proper are going to accommodate a maximum of approximately twelve hundred people. The first of these that I will mention are the three large dormitory buildings that were constructed to house the contestants for the huge Olympic Games that were held there in the winter of 1960. These three large dormitory type buildings each contains seventy-five rooms and each room housed four persons during the Olympic Games. The rooms are approximately 12 x 14. Each contains a double bed and a single bed, a closet, a dressing table and chairs. Each room faces the outside and has adequate window space. Very adequate bathroom facilities are available on each floor for men and women. There are separate and private dressing rooms for the women in the women's restroom facilities. These facilities are very adequate and should be comfortable under every circumstance. These Olympic Village rooms will rent for $8.00 per night—adequately accommodating a family of three or four persons.
Also available will be the large Squaw Valley Inn. The Squaw Valley Inn contain fifty-five rooms. These rooms are comparable to the very finest motels and are very high quality in every way. These large rooms will be available at $13.50 per night—accommodating families of from two to five persons.
Adequate blankets and linen changes will be available in both the Olympic Village rooms and in the Squaw Valley Inn. It will not be necessary to bring blankets or linen for those reserving these fine accommodations.
Now, I would like to describe the dining facilities that will be available for those staying both at the Olympic Village and at the Squaw Valley Inn. The large Olympic Village cafeteria will be serving three meals daily feeding up to two thousand persons each meal. A trained and qualified staff of kitchen employees will be preparing wholesome and delicious meals according to our own menu and specifications. These meals will be of a quality and of a type such as we have had at the Tabernacle in Texas over the years. As you all know, the meals at Gladewater have been offered at a rate far below the actual cost of preparation. We have how- ever, been able to arrange for these meals at a very reasonable rate that will be far below the cost for comparable meals at any other eating establishment in the area. Besides, nowhere will you be able to obtain the quality food that will be served at the Olympic Village cafeteria. The price for three meals daily will be $4.65 per adult per day and $3.45 per child ten and under per day.
The planning and preparation behind the operation of the Olympic Village cafeteria requires a constant number of people for each meal. Therefore, all those who elect to eat in this facility will be required to purchase meal tickets for the entire time. Everyone staying at the Olympic Village housing facilities and at the Squaw Valley Inn should plan on eating at the Olympic Village cafeteria during the entire Festival.
Since the Squaw Valley facilities alone will not accommodate all who will be coming to this area for the Feast of Tabernacles, we are arranging available spaces at motels and hotels in the North Tahoe area. These local facilities are being contacted and the very best possible rates arranged on a family basis. Adequate facilities will be available in the area at rates suitable to every budget. We are at present compiling a composite list of all the facilities in the area, including their rates and all details. A limited number of persons staying in these local facilities will also have the opportunity of eating at the Olympic Village cafeteria. They will be able to purchase meal tickets enabling them to eat their three meals a day at the cafeteria just as has been done at Gladewater in the past. However, again the restriction will be that those desiring to eat at the Olympic Village cafeteria should plan on eating all their meals there. Meal tickets must be sold for the entire eight-day Festival including three meals a day.
Trailer Parks and Camping Areas:
Within the area are adequate trailer parks and camping areas for all those who would desire to stay in trailers or in tents during the Festival. The trailer parks are very fine and have all facilities needed for trailers. These private trailer parks make a charge of from $1.00 to $2.00 per night per trailer. The camping areas are state park camping facilities and have adequate toilet facilities and other equipment. Most of the camping areas are free while some perhaps charge from $.50 per night to $1.00 per night per family.
All of you who would desire to stay in either the trailer parks or in the camping areas should also write us—utilizing the clip-of coupon below. We will not be making the reservations for these areas through our central registration committee, but we'll send you the information you need to make your own reservations. Be sure to let us know if you are planning to stay in a trailer or in a camping area so we may anticipate the exact numbers and make necessary arrangements with those in charge of these areas.
Those of you who have already made reservations for booths at Gladewater should also inform us on the coupon to this effect. If you have made a reservation and sent in a donation for a booth, this donation will automatically be transferred to your account for reservations in the Squaw Valley area. If you have made a booth donation but are not going to stay at any of the above facilities ad wish the donation to be refunded, you should also advise us of this on the coupon.
All of the reservations for the entire area are going to be handled through a central registration system conducted by a staff of men at Headquarters in Pasadena. You can be assured of receiving adequate and suitable accommodations through this central registration procedure. This is a completely nonprofit service we are performing to help YOU, brethren! So please cooperate.
Brethren! Let me say right here that the prices for these outstanding facilities are most reasonable! Remember, we are being permitted to enjoy one of the most beautiful resort areas in the nation. Nevertheless, let me assure you personally that we are not only getting in on the off-season lower rates at all accommodations, but an even lower group rate beside!
If you will carefully consider, most of you will find that you will spend even LESS money this year at Squaw Valley than you would have by going to Texas. The reason is obvious. Most West Coast men and heads of families will have at least four days less total driving time going to the Feast this year with comparably less expense on food and lodging along the way. And, they will also have four more days on the job earning additional wages.
The above-mentioned factors should more than make up the difference in expense for most families. But, in any case, remember that the Feast of Tabernacles should be a time of REJOICING and if you have saved a full second tithe of your income for this purpose, there should be no problem.
Let me say that I have personally inspected the facilities for food and lodging in Squaw Valley and they are splendid! Since this letter is just being sent to you brethren west of the Rockies, I would like to say that you are going to be in for a real thrill this year at the Feast and Squaw Valley! There are so many facilities to describe, so many special opportunities that we are planning to take advantage of, that it is impossible to describe them all in this letter.
You just be there as God has commanded—and REJOICE!
At the bottom of this letter you will find a perforated coupon for you to make your preliminary reservations for any of the facilities outlined above. I am going to ask all of you who can to make reservations and rush, by return mail, this coupon or questionnaire so that we may confirm your space in any of these facilities. It is going to be a big job to place everyone in the proper facilities and is going to take a lot of hard work and planning for our registration crew. Therefore, we must get started early to complete this operation in time. Also, a very important matter to consider is that all reservations will be on a first come first served basis. Remember, there are only facilities for approximately twelve hundred people at Squaw Valley proper!
Since we must send deposits to the Squaw Valley area and to the local motels and hotels in the area, we are going to ask ALL OF YOU to send in a confirming deposit with your request for reservations. In order to cover all of the preliminary costs we will have in setting up the reservations, you should include a deposit of at least $50.00 with your request for reservation. Again I would like to emphasize that you should RUSH your request by return mail in order to guarantee space.
After we have recorded your reservation and placed you in suitable facilities, we will write you by return mail to give you an official confirmation of your space and to advise you of the balance of payment for your accommodations. The full payment for all accommodations must be in by September 1. God has provided the way for us to have these funds available through second tithes. All of you who have been faithfully saving your second tithe should be able to take these funds from the tithes that have been set aside.
Be sure to use the enclosed envelope that has been specifically designated for Squaw Valley registration. This is important in order for accurate and prompt processing of your request!
Brethren in God's Church, as Christ's minister I urge you to act promptly on this important matter and completely fill out the coupon below—making tentative reservations and enclosing a $50.00 deposit with your request. These reservations can be changed if need so requires, but we need your reservation early to properly plan the Feast in this new location. And we need your deposit—out of the second tithe you should have saved—because the Church must send a deposit of $7,500.00 to the Squaw Valley Association by July 1. This must come out of second tithe and not injure God's work at this critical time.
So be prompt—and prepare to REJOICE at the Feast of Tabernacles this fall! Garner Ted Armstrong and I are going to switch by jet plane in the middle of the Feast this year, so we will both look forward to seeing you at Squaw Valley!